Mario Theissen

From a town which is close to the Belgian border, Theissen studied at the Rheinisch-Westfalische Technishe Hochschule in Aachen - one of Germany's top engineering schools between 1971 and 1977 during which he specialised in engine design, when he graduated in 1977 he joined BMW in Munich and begn working in the engine development department. He rose through the ranks and in 1989 took time out to complete a doctorate at the Ruhr University in Bochum. Two years later he was appointed the head of product concepts at BMW AG and the following year moved on to be head of advanced drivetrain development. That led to a further promotion in 1994 when he was appointed the managing-director of BMW Technik GmbH. After a management course at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh he was put in charge of the technology offices in Munich and Palo Alto, California.

In 1999 he was appointed as joint managing-director of BMW Motorsport, sharing the role with Gerhard Berger. Under his management the BMW F1 engineers have produced what the most powerful engine racing in F1.